On New Years Eve, in 2012, I literally declared on my facebook that it was going to be the BEST YEAR YET! And, I believed it with everything in me. But, that’s the exact opposite of how I would describe the year of 2013. It turned out to be the very worst year of our lives, right along with most of 2014.
So, why? If I declared it and believed it with it with all of my heart, why wasn’t 2013 the best year of my life? Quite simply, I’m not exactly sure. Because, all I really know for sure is how much I don’t know. Just saying that we don’t know and realizing the truth behind the statement makes us all a little uneasy. Our minds long for answers, our hearts yearn for justice, and our souls pant for rest. Answers to all of the questions brought on by the terrible twists in this life, justice for all the tragedy we’ve endured, and rest from the pain and suffering that comes whether we like it or not.
We all long for ease and some degree of comfort, but what we often get, instead, is chaos and challenges. Hurts happen to people all the time; disappointment is a regular occurrence; and suffering is so inevitable that God even promises that we will face it. Yet, somehow, we are still surprised when it comes. Why is that? Because, of course, we all want to believe the best. Who wouldn’t rather think of sweet little sheep at night than fiery dragons? Who would want to think of the worst thing instead of the best thing?
Yet, this past year, even with all my years of choosing to think of the good over the bad, the lovely over the yucky, and the pure over the unclean, I have had such a hard time believing for the good. And, it’s effected me. I still have this yearning to believe that good things will happen instead of bad things; that justice will prevail over all. Because, even though I know that bad things do happen, I don’t want to walk around expecting that they will. I still want to believe that the goodness and mercy of God will follow me all of my days, even though that’s not what I can see when I look back to the day Christiano passed from earth to Heaven. But, I don’t want the one circumstance that forever altered my life to forever rob me of the hope that Jesus has already provided for me; and at such a high price.
We are blessed when we believe without seeing. I don’t see anything close to the life I thought was laid out for me. I didn’t see my life ever ending up this way. And, it makes me really confused and angry. But, somehow I still believe. I still believe that God has a beautiful plan in mind when He looks at me. I still believe that He loves me and that He will never stop. He has kept me, and He has held me. And, that is what gives me the confidence to step head into this next year. Because, no matter what happens, in feast and in famine, in sickness and in health, in lack and in wealth, in life and in death – He will be with me through it all. I’ve tasted and I’ve seen the love of God that can never ever fail.
But, how can I know that 2015 will be wonderful? I can’t. I don’t. But, I do know that God goes with me! If I make my bed in hell, He will be there. He WON’T leave me. Ever. So, with that one promise in mind, Happy New Year, friends. Cheers – to a New Year that will be everything God has declared it to be. Redeemed by Christ, rich in His Love, made new by His mercy, and thriving by His grace. Those are my blessed assurances going forward in 2015.